Bartie Bristle and Other Stories


Bartie Bristle and Tom Boot, Sanderson, Albert and Sparkle live in a teddy bear shop. Each of the bears has a ‘magical thread of kindness stitched into everything that Julie and Amanda- the Teddy Bear Ladies- make’. It means that they can make things better.

While Sanderson is a ‘big black bear, wise and helpful’, Tom Boot is the ‘squeakiest of bears‘ and made from an old boot! Then again, the bears love hearing stories from Albert, a very old bear. He comes ‘from a factory in London where some of the best bears [were] made’. When he arrived with Julie and Amanda, he was very dirty from all the love he’d received over the years. However, Sanderson was broken hearted as his family had moved. Thankfully Little Boo rescued him so that he could begin work as a Reading Bear. Then again, Bartie had originally been called Logo, until a village competition to rename him.

The bears love eating sweet things. It means sticky situations at times! Then again, might a sweet sticky thing lead them to discover Sparkle, a womin, a hidden workroom creature that doesn’t like honey but loves teddy bear bowling? Thankfully, the bears are happy to play with her. It seems that bears never hold grudges!

Bookwagon is so happy to read and recommend Bartie Bristle and Other Stories. This story book, so tenderly illustrated by Elke Boschinger, is a triumph. In fact, we suggest that the Teddy Bear Ladies’ creation is a magical book to share aloud at bedtime, to gift, to treasure and know well. It’s inspired this Bookwagon reader to gather her teddies together and ensure they might watch the world outside, just as Bartie Bristle does.

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Bartie Bristle and Other Stories

Tales from the Teddy Bear Ladies

Julie Tachell and Amanda Middleditch, illustrated by Elke Boschinger

(Walker Books)

Bartie Bristle and his friends ‘have a magical thread of kindness stitched into everything that the Teddy Bear Ladies make‘. It means that if ‘you are sad, angry or just a bit lonely‘ they’re there to help. After all, isn’t it so that it’s hard to open your eyes to the good around you if you’re feeling down?
Bartie’s life is shared with Tom Boot, Sanderson, Albert and Sparkle. The live in a special teddy bear shop with Julie and Amanda. While Bartie’s life began when his name was decided in a village competition, Sanderson, a big, tall, sad bear, was left behind by his family. However, when he was discovered by Little Boo, his life changed. It seems he’s became an important school reading bear!
While we learn the individual stories of the bears in the teddy bear shop, we learn of the world around them too. For example, Sparkle, a secretive womin in the work room, was discovered because of a sticky situation! Thereafter Sparkle becomes a friend. That’s despite the fact that womins admit that one of their hobbies is Teddy Bear bowling! She joins the bears on an expedition to the allotment, with Judy the tortoise.
Like Beti and the Little Round House, for example, Bartie Bristle and Other Stories is a storybook to treasure, read often, read together, gift and love. This is an outstandingly beautiful book that Bookwagon is proud to share and recommend.


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